No money in air shows

The numbers are in from Mankato’s large air show in June and they’re not particularly good, even though it attracted the Air Force Thunderbirds as the signature act.

The Mankato Free Press reports the air show lost about $20,000 on a budget of about $720,000.

That’s bad news for the Kiwanis Club which was hoping to score a donation from the profits.

So what’s the problem? The last time it was held — 2012 — it posted a $70,000 profit. Are people not interested enough?

An official suggested one problem might be people in this area don’t go long enough without seeing one.

The three-year gap between Mankato’s most recent shows appears to be too short, he said, and may have contributed to the drop in attendance, which topped 35,000 for the 2012 show. Other reasons for the decline may include temperatures in the ‘80s with plenty of sun and the threat of rain on Sunday. In addition, traffic problems in 2012 may have kept some away this time around.

A couple of other problems not mentioned. Some air shows give air shows a bad name. In Duluth last year, bad weather grounded planes, including the Navy’s Blue Angels. But organizers kept selling tickets and telling people there was a good chance the air show would be held, even though forecasts insisted there was little chance. Heavy traffic and parking problems soured many people (read complaints).

That, of course, isn’t Mankato’s fault. Neither is the fact that the air show came within weeks of the gigantic show in Oshkosh.